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Concordia...41
12-29-2009, 03:06 PM
http://www.woodenboat.com/forum/showthread.php?t=107642

I think there's agreement that praying for someone to come to harm is wrong, but where does the line get drawn?

It could have been the religion I was raised in (Methodist) or growing up in the South, but prayers were general things - praying for comfort for a family that had lost a son; praying for strength for that family to carry on; praying for the safety of folks serving overseas; praying for wisdom when someone is faced with difficult choices; praying for compassion, etc.

I also understand specific prayer requests - like for someone to make it through surgery; or to get a much needed job. I also get the single mom praying her car doesn't break down, but some of the folks I work with pray for real specific things for themselves - like 5 numbers on the lotto. :rolleyes:

I overheard a conversation last week where one gal said she was praying for someone to call in sick (so she could get extra hours and have some extra Christmas money).

Now that last one seems a little borderline - she wasn't really praying for someone to get sick - just call in sick. But it kindof figures they'd have to be sick to call in a miss a day's work right at Christmas. :(

I'm not trying to be superior or say what's right or wrong, I'm just asking - outside of the obviously wrong praying for someone to be hurt or killed - where do you see the "prayer line" being crossed?

rbgarr
12-29-2009, 03:20 PM
I can see praying for strength to help me accomplish something, behave a certain way, forgive others or for mercy for someone in trouble, but not for God to hinder someone else.

Bob Cleek
12-29-2009, 03:25 PM
May those who love us, love us.
And those that donít love us,
May God turn their hearts,
And if he doesnít turn their hearts,
May he turn their ankles,
So we may know them by their limping.

Bobby of Tulsa
12-29-2009, 03:32 PM
If you are a believer, you are supposed to pray according to Gods will. Not to your wants and desires.

S/V Laura Ellen
12-29-2009, 03:42 PM
Although I'm not particularly religious, I was raised with a strong religious influence. If you are praying to a higher power the prayer should be in keeping with the tenets of the religion.

Do unto others... etc.

Memphis Mike
12-29-2009, 03:56 PM
Margo, Sue works with a woman that prays all the time to hit the lottery. She claims that "God is going to bless my pockets, you just wait and see."

McMike
12-29-2009, 04:06 PM
I was watching Survivor a few weeks ago and there was a competition where the two overt Christians in the group were teamed together. I was amazed as I watched them pray for the other side to lose, proclaiming the "prayer warriors" will prevail:rolleyes:. While I liked these two personalities better than the others to win the million dollars I was instantly opposed to them once this occurred. So I prayed to whatever higher power exists to make the "prayer warriors" lose and they did:eek:. Now, putting aside the fact that this show was previously recorded:p, it seems to me that my unnamed god beat their Christian God hands down:cool:. Or maybe their Christian God was pissed that they would call on him for such a selfish bidding and gave them a little whoopin:D. In the end one of the "Prayer warriors" won the million but thatís irrelevant. ;)

cbcc
12-29-2009, 04:12 PM
Who or what is the source of what you believe? They (or it) should give you clear guidance on how to pray. Scripture does.

Ian McColgin
12-29-2009, 04:12 PM
And the Nishrin Shoshu chant for a new car in front of their Gehunzen. One theory is that utterly selfish prayers of intercession eventually lead one to a deeper under understanding, moving past the lottery. Of course that's in porportion to the prayer's ability, which might not be all too evolved.

Generally I find that, not being God, it's better I not judge another's prayers, at least not the prayers of the heart.

At the more public level, we each have the right and responsibility to come to public judgements. I may be a bit trans-Christian, further out that W W Emerson perhaps, but I deeply believe that evolving religious values in the world and among the world's major religions show the way. JHWH who smote the Philistines has grown up a bit. In that line, when political or religious leaders publicly pray for and call for prayer for personal harm - especially on a mere political issue - it's time to hold such folk to the standards of their religion bluntly and, as needed, harshly.

LeeG
12-29-2009, 04:21 PM
If you are a believer, you are supposed to pray according to Gods will. Not to your wants and desires.

as a non-Christian my understanding of prayer is that it's a time to listen, not petition.

Ian McColgin
12-29-2009, 04:27 PM
Actually, various petitions are perfectly normal and good. Sometimes even argument. God can't listen if you've nothing to ask. And even though God probably knows more than you, it's still your part to say something.

Prayer, like other forms of meditation, is a growing process and you can't be real at the highest levels if you're not grounded at each step up.

LeeG
12-29-2009, 04:35 PM
so when does one get real enough to pray for the Lottery?

Captain Blight
12-29-2009, 04:37 PM
Hey, you can talk to your invisible friend whenever and however ya want. It's when ya start expecting an answer that the nice young men in their clean white coats might come to take you away, ha ha.

bob winter
12-29-2009, 04:42 PM
I think a bad prayer is actually called a curse.

Bobby of Tulsa
12-29-2009, 04:49 PM
as a non-Christian my understanding of prayer is that it's a time to listen, not petition. Prayer: An honest humble petition.

Nicholas Carey
12-29-2009, 05:03 PM
And the Nishrin Shoshu chant for a new car in front of their Gehunzen. One theory is that utterly selfish prayers of intercession eventually lead one to a deeper under understanding, moving past the lottery. Of course that's in porportion to the prayer's ability, which might not be all too evolved.Yes, the current incarnation (sorry :p no double entendre intended) of Nichiren buddhism has a lot in common with prosperity gospel (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prosperity_theology) ("Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo...new BMW!"). I once had a girlfriend who practised Nichiren, which gave me cause to learn about the sect.

[For those not in the know, prosperity gospel is the notion that material prosperity and wealth comes to those favored by God. Get Right with God and get rich!]

Like our own preachers of the prosperity gospel (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prosperity_theology), Nichiren Buddhism is tied to right-wing politics -- Japan's NKP (New Komeito Party) receives funding from and, some say, is controlled by the Nichiren organisation Sōka Gakkai.

Apparently, right-wingers world-wide have found success in selling the poor on the notion that God will bring them wealth...while taking their money and using it to work against the interests of the poor.

[FWIW, I'd like to note that my understanding of Japanese politics is slim at best.]

hokiefan
12-29-2009, 05:09 PM
I can see praying for strength to help me accomplish something, behave a certain way, forgive others or for mercy for someone in trouble, but not for God to hinder someone else.

Basically what he said. Strength and/or ability to be a better person, help for others in need, no material things beyond basic necessities for your family. Certainly nothing that harms another in any way.

Call me old fashioned. I don't care, really.:D

Cheers,

Bobby

bamamick
12-29-2009, 05:13 PM
Ms. Margo, I pray all the time. I pray more or less formally every morning as I head towards work or to the boat or wherever. My prayer consists of pretty much the same thing every day: I pray that God give me the strength to deal with what the day throws at me, and for the safety of my family and friends.

When someone here or in the 'real' world asks for my prayers I do the same prayer, I just ask God to give them a hand, to give them the same strength he gives me.

I am also a Methodist, from the south, but I wasn't raised in any sort of religion at all other than to believe in God, the Lord's prayer, and the Golden Rule. Somehow that always seemed to be enough, and even though I adhere to the Methodist service and enjoy the fellowship, my beliefs really haven't changed. I don't believe that God cares about whether or not we win the lottery or whether the Crimson Tide wins the national championship. How could he, when there are so many terrible things that happen to people every single day? I believe that he is like a good parent: he raises us, gives us what we need to take care of ourselves, and then stands in the backround and watches. What your co-worker said or didn't say doesn't really matter anyway, does it? It's what's in your heart that only ever matters, not what comes out of your mouth.

I probably would have made a pretty good Catholic, because it just makes sense that the Lord would have others to give Him a hand, listening to our prayers and offering comfort, but I was raised as a Protestant and though I attended a Jesuit school for college, conversion was never really an option.

I believe that God loves us. I believe in doing the best I can to follow in the example of Jesus, to love my fellowman, share what I can share, and treat each person I come in contact with as I would want to be treated myself. I tried my best to teach this stuff to my kids, and I am very proud that all three seem to be caring and kind in their treatment of others.

Ah well. If I had to say one single word about my church or my beliefs, it would quite simply this: kindness. God would have us be kind to one another. That's about it, as far as I am concerned.

Mickey Lake

OconeePirate
12-29-2009, 05:15 PM
In many of the Wiccan sort of religions they believe in a three fold law. Anything you put out there will come back to you three fold.

J. Dillon
12-29-2009, 05:19 PM
If you are a believer, you are supposed to pray according to Gods will. Not to your wants and desires


The above quote by Bobby's is my sentiment too.

JD

LeeG
12-29-2009, 05:20 PM
Yes, the current incarnation (sorry :p no double entendre intended) of Nichiren buddhism has a lot in common with prosperity gospel (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prosperity_theology) ("Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo...new BMW!"). I once had a girlfriend who practised Nichiren, which gave me cause to learn about the sect.



I wonder if that's the sect my Japanese neighbors were from. Their daughters were about the same age as mine. The dad and oldest daughter barely spoke english and he was going to UCB for some kind of degree/research all paid for by their church. The mother gave me a little coin bank buddha and literature about it. After a few minutes it dawned on me I was being proselityzed and it was some kind of evangelical Bhuddism.

John Smith
12-29-2009, 11:04 PM
I've seen no evidence that praying makes any difference, so I'd say it's all useless, other than it might make the one saying the prayer fell better for having said it.

I see people praying for many things, and I dont think they really believe God would give a damn about their batting average.

If one's looking at a competition and prays for victory, one is, be definition, praying for someone else's loss.

Glen Longino
12-29-2009, 11:17 PM
Nobody knows any gods or any channels of communiction with any gods.
Prayer is an internal monologue that some people mistake for dialogue.
If you want something, get it, don't ask supernatural gods to get it for you.
If everybody's prayers were answered, we'd all be long dead.:)

Ian McColgin
12-29-2009, 11:54 PM
I find it a bit condescending, at least in myself, to denigrate prayers of intercession or to put upon all prayer as something one does with an imaginary friend. Tempting but . . .

In my growth, I found that the rituals of our Episcopal church focused me in a way that felt profound, at least to age fourteen. Then I read Evelyn Underhill’s “Practical Mysticism”. I got more into the experience and less into the judgmental god-talk. I also got started on a nearly twenty year spell of really looking down on people who asked the divine for anything. Especially as my work in philosophy and theology moved me well away from anything resembling Christian dogmas, I looked down on those less evolved and less intelligent and especially on those less dignified.

But there really are a lot of distractions from authentic existential bravery, which I’m pretty sure I don’t have. For example. simple curiosity will get me into and sometimes out of scrapes that raw nerve won’t get me anywhere near. Stupidity is a close second. For some folk, stupidity is first and curiosity a distant second or third or fourth. Being too busy is a wonderful relief from terror, which perhaps is why I appear so serene during extreme mountain rescue or marine rescue moments. It’s not that I had time to find strength in prayer. No time. And that’s not moral strength at all.

So all in all, I have my ways but I’m not prepared to denigrate those who have other ways to face . .

If this night be unblessed
I will not take my rest
Until we meet that distant shore.

Pray as you will.

paladin
12-30-2009, 08:08 AM
I:Corinthians.9:24

Phillip Allen
12-30-2009, 08:13 AM
I always prayed for whatever was best for all and left that answer to God...so as not to interfere with His plans...